Gun control could prevent lawful self-defense

Gun control could prevent lawful self-defense

By now there must be a special command bunker ready for the White House communications team to man when Joe Biden decides to hold a press conference. If it exists, it certainly would have been used last week. Responding to Kate Ernest, who asked how a law-abiding citizen should best protect themselves if they have no access to firearms, the Vice President exclaimed, “Buy a shotgun! Buy a shotgun!” As the words rolled off of Veep’s tongue, communications staffers were likely sent into a panic mode that has become all too familiar.

“I said, ‘Jill, if there’s ever a problem, just walk out on the balcony here, walk out and put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house,’” Biden said.

Why a shotgun? Because “you don’t need an AR-15. It’s harder to aim, it’s harder to use.” Biden’s advice is not only strategically poor (firing two rounds into the air from a two-round shotgun leaves you effectively unarmed), but it also leaves one vulnerable to the very real possibility of negligent homicide, as bullets that are fired up eventually do come down, many times with deadly consequences.

Biden’s remarks exemplify just how disconnected many ideologues are on the issue of gun control and use. Carrying a gun allows one to defend oneself in times of personal danger.

Additionally, research suggests that stricter gun laws correlate to increased rates in violent crime. Harvard criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser authored a study examining American and European gun laws and violence rates in exhaustive detail. According to Mauser and Kates, nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. In 2006, John Moorhouse and Brent Wanner studied how crime rates responded to gun control laws. The findings showed that gun control laws do not affect crime rates, and that a ban instituted post-shooting does not affect the crime rate itself, but that the use of the specific weapon is sometimes altered.

“Republican obstructionism!” or “Tea-Partyers!” are frequent phrases thrown around in any argument in order to delegitimize the possible validity of a dissenting opinion. Such is the case with the recent discourse on gun control measures. Increased background check measures poll favorably across the political spectrum. And while polls suggest that both Republicans and Democrats favor increased background checks, the NRA does not, and with good reason.

The NICS background check system works. Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, stole his guns — he did not buy them. To cite the NICS in any Newtown-related discussion should include that Lanza acquired his firearms through theft, not a faulty NICS system. When someone cites the statistic that 40 percent of firearms aren’t checked with NICS, that is because those firearms were purchased over 20 years ago and are no longer sold at licensed firearms vendors.

As Vice President Biden said earlier this month, there are too many gun control laws on the books to be able to enforce them all properly, especially when it comes to background checks.

The real issue when it comes to gun control discourse is that individuals should have the right to protect themselves in times of perceived danger.

Tragedies certainly put the debate into perspective. But tragedies do not change the following realities: our society is plagued by violent crime, and responsible gun ownership is an effective means of self-defense.

electedface about 10 years ago

40 of guns sold do not have background checks performed on the buyer. These are acquired illegally through online gun sales, gun shows, etc.


Willbill about 10 years ago

40 of guns sold do not have background checks performed on the buyer. These are acquired illegally through online gun sales, gun shows, etc.


A Department of Justice study found gun shows are smallest source of firearms to criminals.

Source of gun:

Street/Illegal Source: 40.8

Friends or family: 33.8

Retail Store: 14.7

Pawnshop: 4.2

Flea Market: 1.3

Gun Show: 0.6


Please note that online sales were not even in the picture.

The last time Congress attempted to close the Gun show loophole they defined a gun show as any place a firearm changes ownership with three or more persons are present. Citizen disarmament zealots and groups would love to see this definition become law and universal firearms registration. Then, a man transfers a rifle to his son and the mother is present. The son registers his firearms. On the registration form there are two questions:

1. Where did you receive your firearm? Answer: from family member.

2. How many persons were present? Answer: three.

Then, the father is arrested for operating an illegal gun show, and the son is arrested for obtaining a firearm at an illegal gun show. Of course, neither person would be aware of the law because they never operated a gun show as we know it, but citizen disarmament groups would declare victory for shutting down yet another illegal gun show.

Much gun control laws and legislation is meant to set traps as to make firearms full of so many pitfalls that most people would give up firearms ownership.

Keith about 10 years ago

If Doctor Jill Biden is stupid enough to follow our sharp, knowledgeable, Vice-President's double barrel shotgun instructions, in one second, she will shoot 32, .30 diameter pellets. One standard 2 -inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck.

Gun smart Joe says we don't need a 30 round magazine yet he will have his wife discharge, in one second, 32 rounds that are larger than the AR 15 bullet. The AR 15 bullet (.223) is slightly larger than a .22 bullet.

I think my choice would be the easier to use AR 15. I can choose where each of the 30 bullets go and I have the option of close or long range if needed.


Anonymous about 10 years ago

"Carrying a gun allows one to defend oneself in times of personal danger."

Indeed, I'm sure the late Nancy Lanza felt really safe with that Bushmaster in her house. Things sure didn't work out for her, just saying.

Or how about some words from our law enforcement officials. You know, the police?


"After 45 years in law enforcement, I've had a lot more calls where a gun was misused, obtained by a child, used in the heat of a domestic dispute -- a lot more of those calls than of a homeowner defending themselves," said Craig Steckler, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police who retired as Fremont's police chief last month. "When you balance it all out, the minuses of having a gun, on the precept that you're going to defend yourself, outweigh the pluses."

Stan almost 10 years ago

In item 4, Chief Steckler's minuses and pluses suck. I am a veteran and live alone and he wants to take my gun because someone else misused, had an accident, or etc., is just plain stupid. With that attitude I think since that cop killed his wife, and then committed suicide not to long ago we should disarm all cops. Since many, many more people are killed by drunk drivers and the misuse of automobiles we should outlaw automobiles.